Whether you’re a skilled or a beginner darts player, there’s a high chance you’ve once thought of adding a dartboard at the comfort of your home. Apart from creating hours of fun, having the best bristle dartboard at the comfort of your home can help you to flex your muscles after hours of office work. To those aspiring to become professional darters, a bristle dartboard is a perfect pick as it has all the features needed for tournament play.
Now, dartboards come in different variants that include cork, wooden, electronic, paper, and bristle boards. The most common types of boards in today’s generation are the bristle and electronic variants. Electronic boards on their side are made of plastic and are only played using plastic tip darts. Bristle dartboards, on the other hand, are made of sisal fiber that has been imported from Africa.
- Things to Consider When Buying a Bristle Dartboard
- The Best Bristle Dartboards Reviews:
- 1. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard
- 2. Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard
- 3. Unicorn Eclipse HD2 High Definition Professional Bristle Dartboard
- 4. Viper Razorback Official Competition Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set
- 5. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard
- 6. Viper Vault Cabinet & Shot King Sisal/Bristle Dartboard
- 7. Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboard
- 8. Viper League Pro Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Starter Set
- 9. IgnatGames Professional Dart Board Set
- 10. Viper by GLD Products Shot King Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set
- FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Best Bristle Dartboard: Editor’s Top Picks
Things to Consider When Buying a Bristle Dartboard
From what you’ve read in our review section, I believe you can now tell the difference between a professional grade dartboard and one that suits beginners and casual players. But, other than the features we’ve discussed regarding each board, there are other silent parameters you should be aware of when buying a bristle dartboard.
For that reason, this guide has discussed at least six key parameters that must be considered before shopping for a bristle dartboard.
The first factor you need to think of when shopping for a bristle dartboard is how exactly you’re planning to use it. Are you planning to use the board for casual or professional use? If the board is for professional use, then you’ll need to think of other factors some of which we’ve discussed just below.
Factors such as the wiring system, the size of the target area, and the quality of the sisal fibers will play a critical role in determining the quality of the board. On the other hand, if the dartboard is intended for casual use, then there’s no need of worrying about those complex features.
Another factor that’s of great importance when picking a bristle dartboard is the size. Now, in most cases, the size of your dartboard will help you determine three major factors. The first one is the availability of space to hang the board. The second one is the number of players that will be playing while the third factor is the purpose of the board. Is it for casual or professional use?
Dartboards come in different sizes depending on the use. However, the recommended size for a professional-grade bristle board is usually 17.75—18-inches in diameter. In the case of the best electronic dart board, you can find one measuring up to 15.5 inches.
So, if you intend to play darts professionally, then a bristle board measuring 17.75 to 18 inches will be ideal. On the other hand, if you’re playing darts casually, then you can consider a smaller sized bristle board that won’t cost you a hand and a leg.
When picking a bristle dartboard, the quality of the sisal fibers can make a real difference between a professional-grade and a poor quality board. Now, bristle dartboards are usually stuffed with sisal fibers imported from East Africa.
To give the dartboard some resilience, a lot of sisal fiber is stuffed on the board to give it a higher density. This makes the dartboard tightly wound giving it an advanced self-healing advantage. This is a huge benefit to dartboards that suffer a lot of abuse, as the board will repair itself once the darts are removed.
Other than the quality and the density of the sisal fibers, another factor you need to consider is the depth of the board. In most cases, the depth of professional-grade bristle boards is usually 1.5 inches. The best thing about this depth is that it will prevent the darts from piercing through the dartboard backing causing significant damage.
Now, the face of a bristle dartboard is divided using segmentation wires referred to as the spider. This wiring system is very important as it forms the boundaries of each segment on the board. But, as important as it may be, the spider can interfere with the movement of the darts by causing bounce-outs whenever the darts hit the wires.
In earlier dartboards, the wiring system used to be thick and very annoying as it interfered with the darts. Thankfully, as the years progressed, more sophisticated technology was developed to reduce the size of the wiring system.
In the process, ultra-thin wires with steep triangular designs were developed to help reduce the chances of bounce-outs. Today, most dartboards use this type of wiring system to reduce bounce-outs and increase your chances of scoring.
Staple vs. Staple-Free:
Most traditional dartboards used staples as part of the framework. Although this idea was pivotal in clipping the spider towards the board, it caused a lot of impediment to the darts when throwing.
Due to this reason, most manufacturers have turned to the use of a staple-free wiring system to reduce the chances of bounce-outs to the minimum. Therefore, if you’re looking for a dartboard intended for professional use, picking one with staple-free wires and bullring can be of immense help.
Rotating Number Ring:
When playing darts, there’s a high possibility that some of the segments might be severely hurt by the darts. For instance, when playing the Cricket game, certain segments such as the 20 and 15 might suffer severe abuse from professional players looking to score highly.
So, to limit wear and tear, it’s highly recommended that you pick a dartboard that has a movable or removable number ring. The purpose of the movable number ring is to allow the dartboard to rotate easily. This easy rotation facilitates even wear allowing the board to stay for a longer time.
The Best Bristle Dartboards Reviews:
The main reason why the bristle dartboard is so important in the world of darts is due to its durability. This is all thanks to its self-healing advantage that allows the sisal fibers to get back to their initial shape once the darts are removed. This self-healing property also allows these boards to be used with steel tip darts making them the best for professional play.
But, even after gaining a lot of interest from the darting community, picking a perfect bristle dartboard from hundreds of options can be quite overwhelming. Since there are lots of factors to consider, this guide has filtered at least 10 models that will be of immense value.
Other than reviewing the best bristle boards, we’ve also discussed key factors you’ll need to consider when making your pick as well as answered a few pressing questions that relate to bristle dartboards. So, if you’re ready, then let’s begin.
1. Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard
Topping our list of the best bristle boards is the Winmau Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Dartboard. Endorsed by the British Darts Association, this dartboard is hailed for being an indisputable king and for a good reason. Other than its immaculate appearance, this dartboard is packed with innovative features that make it a top contender to those looking for a serious dartboard.
One of those incredible features you’ll find here is the dual-core technology that gives this board a higher sisal density. What this means is that there will be reduced bounce-outs and lesser chances of damaging the wooden back. The 18-inches scoring area is another major plus as it gives you the feeling of legitimacy knowing the board is already regulated.
When it comes to the wiring system, Winmau has employed the best technology that will prevent the wires from interfering with the darts. To do this, they’ve used a 14% thinner wiring system as compared to other boards. They’ve also reduced the angle of the wiring by 30-degrees to encourage more deflection of the darts for improved scoring. The thin razor wires have also increased the scoring area in the treble and double segments to 6mm² and 9mm² respectively to increase your chances of scoring.
- Has higher compression fiber for increased durability.
- Thin wiring system reduces bounces.
- The thin wires increase the scoring area.
- Rota-Lock feature make it easier to set up the board.
- Playing area is large and highly visible.
- Not the best for soft tip darts.
- Quite expensive.
2. Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Dartboard
The Winmau Blade 5 Bristle Board is another model that looks similar to our previous Blade 5 Dual Core Board. In fact, it’s a little bit overwhelming to distinguish between the two if you’re just a beginner. In fact, both of these dartboards are part of Winmau’s plan to upgrade to a higher level to retain their brand reputation.
Now, just like the Blade 5 Dual Core Bristle Board, this best dart board has employed a thin wiring system that’s 14% thinner than its previous predecessor. The triangular wiring profile has been reduced from the previous 90° to a much tighter 60° acute angle to improve the deflection of the darts. The scoring area has also been increased significantly especially in the double and treble sections.
Like it isn’t enough, Winmau has used a high-density compressed sisal fiber to design this dartboard. This has improved the board’s stretching ability and has offered it incredible self-healing properties. To those complaining about the quality of the bullseye section, Winmau has reinforced the bullseye ring with special carbon diffusion technology to improve its longevity. This board is also equipped with a unique triple-wheel lock system that makes set up a breeze.
- Thin wiring reduces the chances of bounce-outs.
- The angled wires increase deflection for more accurate throws.
- This board is endorsed by the BDO.
- The bullseye ring is reinforced with carbon diffusion technology.
- It has multiple set up options.
- The darts are not included in the package.
- Can easily chip off if mishandled.
3. Unicorn Eclipse HD2 High Definition Professional Bristle Dartboard
While the Winmau Blade 5 boasts of being endorsed by the BDO, the Unicorn Eclipse HD2 enjoys being endorsed and recognized by the PDC. In fact, this dartboard is considered as a PDC World Championship official dartboard due to its impressive looks and great performance. Although most dartboards use thin wiring systems, the Unicorn Eclipse HD2 has taken this concept to another level by using extra thin wires.
This intelligent segmentation system uses 30% thinner wires as compared to other dartboards. As a result, the playing area is increased by 14% making it easier for both professionals and novices to score. Now, most dartboards use staples to hold the wires. Since this concept increases the chances of bounce-outs, Unicorn has ditched this old-school concept by making the target area completely staple-free.
Not only that, they’ve designed this dartboard with the finest grade A sisal fiber that’s highly resistant to wear. The number system has also been redesigned where high-definition plastic numbers have been used. These numbers can also be replaced with an invisible number ring in case you need to rotate the board.
- It’s reasonably priced.
- The wiring system is 30% thinner.
- The target area is completely staple-free.
- It’s made from the finest sisal fiber.
- It has a regulation size of 18 inches.
- Quite hard to mount.
- The plastic numbers break easily.
4. Viper Razorback Official Competition Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set
Whether you’re a professional player or just a darts hobbyist, the Viper Razorback is a tournament quality dartboard that can be a smart pick if you’re spoilt for choice. To begin, this dartboard is officially regulated for professional use due to its large 18-inches target area. The construction is also top-notch, as Viper has used high-grade sisal fiber that has impressive self-healing properties.
Now, just like the rest of the bristle boards we’ve discussed, this one to is equipped with razor-thin galvanized wires that increase the scoring area considerably. The separation wires are also designed with a steep acute angle that deflects the darts towards the target to improve your chances of scoring.
The wiring and the bullrings are designed with a unique staple-free technology that reduces the chances of bounce-outs when playing. As a way to improve the longevity of this board, Viper has used a movable number ring that allows you to rotate the board to facilitate even wear. Although most bristle dartboards are designed for steel tip darts, the Viper Razorback has gone beyond this tradition to include soft tip darts in its darts category.
- Comes with mounting hardware.
- Has a large 18-inch playing area.
- Best for soft tip and steel tip darts.
- Has a movable number ring for easy rotation.
- Thin galvanized wires prevent bounce-outs.
- It’s susceptible to wear.
5. Unicorn Eclipse Pro Bristle Dartboard
The Unicorn Eclipse Pro is quite similar to the Winmau Blade 4 only that it’s slightly cheaper. Its affordability is in fact one reason why this dartboard is a godsend to most beginners and novice players. To those practicing to become professional players, picking this dartboard can help to improve your game as it has all the qualities needed for professional use.
One of those qualities is the ultra-thin wiring system that’s thin enough to avoid any interference with the darts. The top of the wires is designed with a steep acute angle that directs darts to their respective targets to improve scoring. Besides, the ultra-thin wires increase the size of the target area giving you more chances of scoring.
In the past, most dartboards used staples as a way to stick the wires towards the board. Since this resulted in regular bounce-outs, Unicorn has ditched this old concept by using staple-free wires in their construction. The Unicorn Eclipse Pro is a PDC endorsed dartboard that’s hugely regarded for tournament play.
- The wires and the bullring feature a staple-free construction.
- Ultra-thin wiring has been used in the construction.
- Endorsed by the PDC for its championship quality design.
- Has a highly visible numbering system.
- Available at an affordable price.
- It has an unfinished look.
- Has a poor mounting method.
6. Viper Vault Cabinet & Shot King Sisal/Bristle Dartboard
The Viper Vault Cabinet & Shot King Bristle Dartboard is an example of the best electronic bristle dartboard. This dartboard is considered a comprehensive bundle as it comes with both the dartboard and the wooden cabinet for convenient storage. So, if you’re planning to buy a storage cabinet later on, then you don’t have to trouble yourself as Viper has already taken care of it.
Now, the Viper Shot King isn’t just an ordinary dartboard. That’s because Viper has managed to marry the traditional outfit of a professional dartboard with smart technology that converts it into an electronic board. The board itself is constructed from compressed sisal fiber to improve durability. They’ve also designed the board with an 18-inch tournament size for professional use.
When it comes to the technology part, Viper has used a Viper laser throw line marker that marks the oche without having to use chalk or marker pens. They’ve also added LED lights at the top of the dartboard to illuminate the board when playing. This dartboard set is equipped with two sets of steel tip darts that make it a perfect fit for customers looking for an all-inclusive deal.
- It has a rounded wire system that guides darts to the target.
- The wiring and the bullring are all staple-free.
- The package comes with two sets of quality steel tip darts.
- The cabinet has magnetic closers for added convenience.
- It uses a Viper laser marker to mark the oche.
- It’s too bulky.
- It has a sensitive smell when new.
7. Winmau Diamond Plus Tournament Bristle Dartboard
The Winmau Diamond Plus Bristle Board is quite identical to the Blade 4 and 5 models in terms of features and quality. In fact, most novice players will find it extremely hard to differentiate this model from the Blade 4 and 5 series since they appear identical in most areas. However, the Winmau Diamond Plus has a few differences that distinguish it from its Winmau cousins.
One of them is the smaller target area that measures 17.75 inches. Although the board is endorsed by the British Darts Organization, the size is slightly smaller than the officially regulated size of 18 inches. Regarding the wiring system, Winmau has managed to use ultra-thin diamond-shaped wires to reduce bounce-outs by deflecting darts towards the target.
Besides, Winmau has employed a unique Cliple II wire fastener technology that clips the separation wires securely on the board to prevent movement. Now, unlike most Winmau dartboards, the Diamond Plus isn’t entirely staple-free. In fact, the bullring is the only part that’s staple-free while the spider wires are entirely stapled. Although Winmau has stuffed the board with the best self-healing sisal fiber, this board can only be used for both recreational and practice purposes.
- Constructed from self-healing sisal fiber.
- Endorsed by the BDO.
- Cliple II wire fasteners clip the wires securely on the board.
- The number ring can be rotated easily.
- The bullring is staple-free.
- Unfortunately, the wiring system is stapled.
- Cases of bounce-outs.
8. Viper League Pro Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Starter Set
The reason why the Viper League Pro Bristle Dartboard made it to our list today is due to its perfect combination of performance and affordability. Although it’s not in the league of high-standard dartboards such as the Winmau Blade models, the overall quality of this board cannot just be underestimated.
First, this dartboard comes in a regulation size of 18 inches, which is ideal for professional use. Secondly, the board is stuffed with soft sisal fibers that have impressive self-healing properties. This makes the dartboard long-lasting as the bristles won’t chip off easily when removing the darts. When it comes to the wiring system, Viper has strived to give their customers the best deal that suits their price range.
Here, they’ve used a special Galvanized radial sector wire to separate the segments. This wiring system comes in form of a rounded wire that slides the tips of your darts towards the target. This helps to reduce bounce-outs and instead increases your chances of making accurate throws. To most beginners that are getting started with darts, this board comes with additional accessories that include; a set of steel tip darts, a cricket scoreboard, chalk, and an eraser.
- Comes with additional accessories.
- It has a rotating number ring.
- Best for soft tip and steel tip darts.
- Uses spherical galvanized wires to deflect darts to the target area.
- The sisal fibers used have impressive self-healing properties.
- The wiring system isn’t staple-free.
- Sometimes the board fails to self-heal.
9. IgnatGames Professional Dart Board Set
The best thing about the IgnatGames Professional Dartboard is that it’s a pro-level dartboard that’s specifically designed for professional players. Nicknamed the Assassin Pro, this dartboard is an excellent pick as it has all the features needed for high-standard boards. One of those is the use of a staple-free wiring system. Unlike other boards that use galvanized spherical wires, this one has used an ultra-thin segmentation system that’s 65% thinner.
What this means is that the target area has been increased to 15% while chances of bounce-outs have been reduced significantly to almost zero. When it comes to the quality of the board, IgnatGames has used a super-dense premium quality sisal fiber that has been imported from Kenya. This gives the board a superior self-healing advantage that’s integral to its longevity.
Besides, this dartboard is equipped with a rotating number ring that lets you rotate the board to facilitate even wear. To those looking to play darts with friends and family members, this board comes with additional accessories that include two sets of darts, a measuring tape, mounting hardware, and a darts guide.
- The numbers are highly visible.
- Equipped with ultra-thin segmentation wires.
- Comes with two sets of steel tip darts.
- There’s a strong mounting hardware in the package.
- The segmentation wires are staple-free.
- The quality of the darts is quite poor.
10. Viper by GLD Products Shot King Regulation Bristle Steel Tip Dartboard Set
Wrapping up our list of the best bristle dartboard is the Viper Shot King by GLD Products. Now, if you’re looking to play darts casually, then this model is an excellent pick that will never fail you. Although the size of this dartboard is slightly smaller, playing darts using this board will give you a feeling of legitimacy, as all its features have complied with the recommended standards.
Similar to the Viper League Pro, the Viper Shot King is designed with a galvanized wiring system that consists of spherical wires on the segmentation. Although this concept isn’t the best, it does well in reducing the chances of bounce-outs by deflecting your darts towards the target. Again, Viper has used staples to clip the wires towards the board, which keeps the spider intact. The only problem with this approach is that it increases the chances of bounce-outs in case the darts hit the staples.
About the quality of the board, Viper has stuffed this board with soft sisal fibers that have impressive self-healing properties. The number ring is easily detachable making it easier to rotate the board after a few rounds of extensive use. This board is also easy to mount and it comes with two sets of steel tip darts, a throw line, and a measuring tape.
- The board is easy to mount.
- Comes with two sets of darts.
- Spherical wiring reduces the chances of bounce-outs.
- Has a removable number ring.
- The bullring is staple-free.
- Unfortunately, the wiring isn’t staple-free.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Which Type of Boards Do Professionals Use?
In most cases, professional players use bristle dartboards. The bristles comprise of special sisal fibers that are both durable and strong. When stuffed with these sisal fibers in the correct density, your dartboard will be resilient enough to avoid rapid wear caused by steel tip darts. So, if you’re looking to play darts professionally, look for nothing less than a bristle board.
How Long Do Dartboard Fibers Take To Self-Heal?
The reason why bristle dartboards are considered for professional use is due to their impressive self-healing advantage. Now, for your dartboard to have a high self-healing effect, the sisal fibers must be stuffed and compressed together inside the board.
If your bristle board has a high sisal density, then it can easily self-heal as soon as the darts are removed from the board. However, to accelerate the self-healing effect, you need to avoid leaving the darts on the dartboard after playing. Also, you need to remove the darts by first twisting them to avoid damaging the board.
Is it Safe to Wash a Bristle Dartboard?
Washing a bristle dartboard is not recommended at all. In fact, your board should not get in contact with water or any wet cloth whatsoever. You see, the sisal fibers on your board are much like the chips found in chipboards.
So, if they get in contact with water, the glue that sticks the fibers to the board becomes loose causing the fibers to bubble or warp. This, as a result, causes permanent damage to the dartboard. When cleaning the best bristle dartboard, always make sure that you use a dry cloth.
In case of stubborn stains, dip a clean cloth in water then rinse it thoroughly. Run the cloth on the surface of the board then leave it to dry.
Do Bristle Dartboards Dry Out?
Yes, they do. You see, when mounting a bristle dartboard, you need to be very keen with the environment. Your dartboard should be mounted on a dry wall away from direct sunlight. In case your board is exposed to bright light or direct sunlight, the sisal fibers can turn brittle and easy to chip off when hit.
How Long Do Dartboards Last?
A well-maintained dartboard can last anywhere from 4 to 5 years. If you play darts regularly, then your board can last for about 2 years. Now, for your dartboard to last for a longer time, there are certain parameters you need to consider.
First, you need to rotate your dartboard often to facilitate even wear. This can be done by removing the number ring to make it easier for you to rotate the board. Secondly, avoid using water when cleaning your dartboard. In case the stains are too stubborn, use a damp cloth to wipe them off without using any water.
As you can see, the world of darts is pretty broad. It’s like a deep ocean full of many fish species. In fact, was it not for the limitation of time and space, we would have discussed hundreds of models that are available in the market.
But, since our main intention was to give you an idea of what’s available in the market, our guide for the best bristle dartboard has listed at least ten professional-grade bristle boards. These boards are the top-selling and are designed with exclusive features that will make a huge difference in your darting career.
So, whether you’re sharpening your skills, playing darts casually, or playing at a professional level, these dartboards are among the best that will leave you spoilt for choice.